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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 24, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

House majority leader to Senate: Just send our Patriot Act rewrite to Obama

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Senate Monday to swiftly take up and pass a bipartisan rewrite of the Patriot Act that extends major snooping powers while curtailing its controversial record-collection provision, saying he has a "real concern for the safety of the U.S." after persistent roadblocks in the upper chamber allowed key anti-terror tools to expire. Published June 1, 2015

The Supreme Court (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Supreme Court sides with Muslim teen over Abercrombie in headscarf case

The Supreme Court sided Monday with a Muslim teenager who couldn't get a job at Abercrombie and Fitch because her headscarf conflicted with the chain's dress policy, saying it is up to employers to accommodate religious practices even if candidates don't point out their needs. Published June 1, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

Federal judge resists White House bid to toss John Boehner's Obamacare lawsuit

A federal judge struggled Thursday with the administration's claim the House GOP is pushing an "abstract" lawsuit against Obamacare that should be tossed, signaling she'll take a hard look at Speaker John A. Boehner's controversial bid to highlight the separation of powers between Congress and the presidency -- and the judiciary's right to referee their disputes. Published May 28, 2015

Americans are waiting for a Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, a major test of President Obama's health care overhaul that could halt insurance premium subsidies in all the states where the federal government runs the marketplaces. (Associated Press)

Obamacare foes seek end to losing streak at Supreme Court

Obamacare opponents have been on a losing streak in federal courts over the past year, suffering setbacks as judges have ruled against them on challenges to the health care law's constitutionality and efforts to carve out protections from its birth control rules on faith-based employers. Published May 27, 2015

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Chaos on the Hill: Scare evacuates Capitol building

The U.S. Capitol was reopened Tuesday afternoon after having been evacuated for an hour in an apparent false fire alarm that sent hundreds of workers streaming from the seat of government. Published May 26, 2015

Florida Gov. Rick Scott. (Naples Daily News/Associated Press) ** FILE **

Obama orders Rick Scott to expand Medicaid but without funds to do so

Florida lawmakers say they're closer to averting a government shutdown this summer after the Obama administration moved to defuse a health-funding standoff with Republican Gov. Rick Scott that has featured a lawsuit, comparisons to a TV mob family and personal pleas to Congress. Published May 24, 2015

"Airstrikes are effective, but neither they, nor really anything we do, can substitute for the Iraqi forces' will to fight. They're the ones who [need] that to beat ISIL and then keep them beaten," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. (Associated Press)

Iraqis showed 'no will to fight' Islamic State in Ramadi, Ashton Carter says

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter accused Iraqi forces Sunday of showing "no will to fight" Islamic State guerrillas who seized a crucial city west of Baghdad, a blunt assessment that drew an immediate rebuke from Iraqi officials who think the U.S. is scapegoating their besieged nation to obscure its own failures in the region. Published May 24, 2015

FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel fought back against allegations that Democrats had proposed regulations for Internet politicking. (Associated Press)

FEC deadlocks on wealthy donor giving limits

The Federal Election Commission stalemated Thursday on writing new campaign finance rules to limit wealthy donors' spending in federal elections, virtually ensuring next year's elections will be fought under the current rules that the Supreme Court has written in several major decisions this decade. Published May 21, 2015

The birth control pill remains the most common method of female contraception in the U.S.  (Associated Press) **FILE**

Court refuses to rehear Obamacare contraception case

A federal appeals court said Wednesday it will not reconsider a pro-life ministry's plea for relief from Obamacare's birth control mandate, dealing a second blow in as many days to religious nonprofits who say the administration is ignoring its strongly held beliefs and signals from the Supreme Court. Published May 20, 2015


Senate would put colleges on hook for student loan default

College and universities that churn out students who default on their federal loans should be forced to bear some of the brunt of those costs, senators said Wednesday in a bipartisan push to try to make schools with high student default rates have to put "skin in the game." Published May 20, 2015

This image provided by the Department of Health and Human Services shows a portion of the Website. Republican or Democrat, the next president will have the chance to remake the nation’s health care overhaul without fighting Congress. The law signed by President Barack Obama includes a waiver that, starting in 2017, would let states take federal dollars now invested in the overhaul and use them to redesign their own health care systems. (AP Photo/HHS)

Only 150K penalty payers signed up for Obamacare during extra time

Only 150,000 customers signed up for Obamacare coverage on the website between March 15 and April 30, the administration said Tuesday, shedding light on how many people took advantage of extra time to sign up for coverage and avoid the tax penalty for being uninsured. Published May 19, 2015